Islamic State militants have attacked Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia on Wednesday, which led to the loss of several lives while many were taken hostages.
Police confirmed Somalia’s IS rebels, Al-Shabaab, contributed to the attack at the Ambassador Hotel. According to Reuters, a suicide car bomber crashed into the gate outside the hotel. The attack was immediately followed by gunfire, which killed 15 people. Police confirmed that two lawmakers have died. The residents and witnesses said that gunfire was heard in the area surrounding the hotel overnight.
“Lawmakers Mohamud Mohamed and Abdullahi Jamac died in the hotel. They lived in it,” police official Major Ibrahim Hassan told Reuters. “Many other people including lawmakers were rescued. The operation is about to end now. So far the death toll we have is 15 dead and 20 others wounded.”
News.com.au reported the death of two members of parliament in the attack.
Soon after the action and reaction, Al-Qaida’s affiliate Al-Shabaab claimed the responsibility for the blast and claimed the death of 20 people aside from the two lawmakers. “We targeted the members of the apostate government … We killed many of them inside and we shall give details later. Our mujahideen are on the top floor of the hotel building,” the Al-Qaida affiliate’s military operation spokesman Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab told Reuters.
The gunfire commenced as soon as the suicide bomber detonated an explosives-laden vehicle outside the hotel gate. The attack came on the eve of the holy month of the Muslims, also known as Ramadan. It is the period when terror groups initiate attacks in this East African nation.
One of the witnesses, Yasin Abdi, said that he noticed security forces bringing people out of the three-storey hotel.
On the incident, Somalia President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud sent his condolences to the relatives of lawmakers. “I send condolences to the relatives of lawmakers Abdullahi Jamac and Mohamud Mohamed and likewise to the relatives of all those martyred in the barbaric attack,” the president stated. “These barbaric attacks are aimed to frighten citizens so that they do not support governance and peace and that will never happen.”